Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Lesnar Reportedly May Have Signed Long-Term Deal with WWE
After previously favoring shorter deals, Brock Lesnar reportedly may have signed a longer-term contract with WWE recently.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), Lesnar may have had a change in philosophy with a move to UFC seemingly no longer on the table:
"I just know he's been signing short term deals, but he's been offered really good money so he may have signed a longer-term deal because he ain't signing with UFC. I think that's real clear right now is that he's not going.
"I don't know if he was ever gonna go [to UFC]. He may have been using it for leverage. I mean I never took it seriously that he was going I mean no matter what, I mean I never did."
There was some belief that The Beast was poised to return to the Octagon after appearing at UFC 226 in July 2018 and pushing Daniel Cormier. Prior to that, Lesnar had not fought for UFC since UFC 200 in 2016.
Lesnar beat Mark Hunt by unanimous decision at UFC 200, but the ruling was later changed to a no-contest after Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene. Lesnar later re-entered the testing pool, and he would have been eligible to fight this year had he continued to pass drug tests.
Rumors of a UFC return persisted when Lesnar dropped the Universal Championship to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam last year, but when Reigns had to relinquish the title in order to undergo leukemia treatment, Lesnar returned to beat Braun Strowman for the vacant championship at WWE Crown Jewel.
Lesnar has been in the WWE fold ever since, and he is the current holder of the Money in the Bank contract, which suggests he isn't going anywhere in the near future.
At 41 years of age, Lesnar is still performing at a high level, and his part-time contract should allow him to continue doing so moving forward.
Rusev's Contract Reportedly Expiring Soon
While Lesnar is competing under a fresh contract for WWE, Rusev's contract with the company is reportedly nearing its conclusion.
According to Meltzer (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com), Rusev's contract is expiring "relatively soon," although it isn't known if he is planning to leave WWE.
Meltzer noted Rusev is currently away from WWE after requesting some time off.
The Bulgarian Brute signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2010 and made it to the main roster in 2014. He enjoyed instant success with a long undefeated streak and United States Championship run but struggled to return to prominence after dropping the title to John Cena.
Rusev seemed to be back on the ascent entering WrestleMania 34, as his "Rusev Day" chant and gimmick was hugely over with the fans. WWE eventually turned Rusev heel, though, and he has been part of a tag team with Shinsuke Nakamura for the past several months.
It undoubtedly hasn't been the best use of Rusev or Nakamura, and it is fair to wonder if Rusev will follow in Jon Moxley's footsteps by allowing his contract to run out before signing with All Elite Wrestling.
If Rusev does leave WWE, his mix of in-ring talent and natural charisma should make him a highly sought after commodity with AEW, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Ring of Honor and Impact Wrestling possibly all figuring into the mix.
Kingston's Extreme Rules Match Reportedly Changed
WWE has reportedly decided to go in a different direction with Kofi Kingston and the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules.
According to Meltzer (h/t Upton), WWE originally advertised Kofi vs. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat match at Extreme Rules, but after Samoa Joe attacked Kingston on Monday's Raw, it looks as though Kingston vs. Joe at Extreme Rules is likely.
Kofi's first feud coming out of WrestleMania was against Owens, and Kingston beat him at Money in the Bank. The New Day member then beat Ziggler at WWE Super ShowDown and took him down again in a steel cage match at Stomping Grounds.
On Monday, Kingston beat Sami Zayn and Owens in consecutive singles matches only for Joe to assault him afterward.
Samoa Joe dropped the United States Championship to Ricochet at Stomping Grounds, which opened the door for him to move up the card.
While Joe is technically a Raw Superstar, the Wild Card Rule has essentially rendered the brand split moot, meaning there is little holding Joe back from vying for the WWE title.
Kingston's title run has felt somewhat stale given the lack of credible challengers and engaging storylines, but a feud with Joe may be just what Kofi needs to get back on track.
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